Buronson’s Fist of the North Star is one of the highest-grossing media franchises today, it has sold over 100 million copies making it one of the Best-Selling Manga Series in History, today we’ll be looking at Volume One, Viz Media released the series in a hardcover format, with color pages included.
Written by Buronson and illustrated by Tetsuo Hara, the volume begins with a beautifully illustrated and full-colored depiction of the year 199X when the world has been left in apocalyptic ruin from a Nuclear Blaze. A blend of blood-red, orange, amethyst, and sea blue, then shifts to where we shift to a wasteland filled with chaos, and bandits armed with weapons. A wanderer named Ken, appears out of the wasteland to bring justice to the guilty and hope to the people, a man who bears seven scars upon his chest and holds the secret of a mysterious martial art known as Hokuto Shinken, the Divine Fist of the North Star!
But with it being released 35 years ago, this still has a way to entice the reader, the character designs are still unique and clear to see that Bruce Lee’s Style of Martial Arts and Mad Max’s Chaotic world were two big influences for this story, Hara’s character designs, his focus on detail in action scenes are one of the things that made this one hell of a bloody good time.
As far as the story goes, Buronson gives the reader a good, detailed story of how Kenshiro came into his power and the user of the fighting style Hokuto Shinken, which allows him to tap into the extra 70% of his human abilities to give him super strength, speed, and the ability to transfer energy to and from people’s bodies. While it may seem like an info dump but it does give new readers an explanation of what makes the Hokuto Shinken one of the most interesting fighting stances in Anime and Manga, one that has become the poster boy of memes as of late. One thing that stood out to me the most was the Romance Aspect of our protagonist, it humanizes him and helps the reader understand where his heart is, something that stood out in the second half of the manga. Overall, this was great, something that helped me understand what made Fist of the North Star one of the best Shonen Manga out there!
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